UFU asks farmers to get counting in the Big Farmland Bird Count

The Ulster Farmers’ Union is encouraging farmers to get counting and join the Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC).

UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt will be taking part again this year and is encouraging farmers to do the same.

“It was promising to see bird count records broken during the 2019 BFBC,” Chestnutt said.

This reflected the crucial role farmer’s play in the survival and protection of many farmland bird species.

“Several bird species are in decline and this is a great chance to show the public the positive impact farmland management has on bird numbers.

“Farmers often, unfairly, get branded as poor land managers and polluters. It is disappointing that the actions of a few tarnish the reputation of all farmers.

“This is our opportunity to dispel those myths and showcase to the public the good work we are doing on farms,” he said.

The Big Farmland Bird Count runs this week until February 16, 2020.

Farmers can take part by following three easy steps:

  1. Download a free count sheet and birds ID guide from www.bfbc.org.uk;
  2. Pick one day and take 30 minutes to count the birds on one part of the farm;
  3. Submit the results online.

The BFBC organisers recommend selecting one particular area on the farm, somewhere with a good view of around two hectares of the farm would be ideal.

“Farmers are busy but I’m sure we can all find 30 minutes during those 10 days to take part,” concluded Chestnutt.